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Dealing with "novices" abusing the Q&A: We need less spoonfeeding

Discussion in 'Community Chat' started by FrostyCat, Aug 31, 2016.

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  1. HayManMarc

    HayManMarc Member

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    I think there are legitimate times to offer code. It's usually when it becomes apparent that the questioner is really trying to understand something. If there's a friendly back and forth of the questioner asking and the answerer giving contextual ideas or pseudo-code examples and the questioner still doesn't get it, then a blow-by-blow piece of code with good comments is awesome. Believe me -- it's awesome. (I remember being a newbie noob. Now I'm an old, intermediate noob, and it's still awesome when that happens.)

    I think it's pretty easy to tell when someone genuinely wants to learn. No one is forcing anyone to offer cut&paste solutions. Those that are dishing copypasta will eventually get tired of doing it when they see their efforts are futile. Why spend so much time and energy on someone who refuses to learn when you have your own programming on your own project to do? (This isn't any kind of solution, just me thinking out loud.)

    Personally, I don't see it as big of a problem as it's being made out to be, but I don't dismiss it as a non-concern either. I agree it should be addressed, as it has always been addressed by the community, at least from what I can remember. I've seen this happen in surges over the years, waxing and waning. The forum has had an influx of new programmers in the last several months, many of these newcomers with zero experience. They read the GameMaker gimmick line of, (paraphrased) "Make games quick and easy, no programming necessary!" They mess around with it and are either confounded and dismiss it altogether (we never hear from these people), or are instantly hooked, but either too young to "get it" or too "non-programmer" to follow the logic. So they have questions. Some of those questions are of the most basic. If you can't be fussed to answer them, then don't. Let it lie. Let someone else answer it. I really don't think there are that many in here trying to use GameMaker that don't want to learn it. Don't let a few bad apples spoil the whole barrel.

    The GMC had a wealth of answers for newbie beginners asking amazingly basic questions, but it's all archived and not very searchable now (what didn't get misplaced/lost). So now, the GMC has to start over answering all those newbie questions again, including that most amazingly basic of basic. This was talked about before the new forums were made. Many dismissed it as ever being a potential problem, but we may be seeing it rearing it's head now.

    My suggestion to people answering questions is similar to Bobs, by checking things off in a kind of order. If the first bit of advise doesn't work, try the next one down the line:
    1. Offer an answer, but please explain it. For example, don't just write "Use collision_line" as your entire reply. Explain what to do with collision_line, how to implement it.
    2. Share a link to the relative page in the help doc, and perhaps help explain what the help doc is probably failing to explain. Believe me, that help doc can be pretty convoluted sometimes with it's explanations.
    3. If the conversation has gone this far, by now you should have a good grasp of whether the questioner is for real and wanting to learn, or just wants to eat the ice cream directly from the carton. This is when you decide to either help further by offering some code, or abandon the thread. A polite "I'm sorry, I'm unable to help you" is nice, but even that is not necessary. Just jump ship.

    Sometimes it takes a conversation to get a new programmer to a light bulb moment. That's what makes this a community. Conversation.

    If the questioner is unruly and ungrateful and demands copypasta, report it. (I believe this is what the OP was originally addressing - demanding copypasta.)

    What else can you do? Reply with a snide remark? "Gee, I wish I could get people to write all the code for my project and not have to learn anything." "Learn to read, like, help docs and stuff." "Next time, try some google sauce with your copypasta." These types of replies, though (possibly) humorous, will only cause more trouble.

    Corny tagline: I was a noob once. Still am. I'll forever be a noob, as there is always more to learn.
     
  2. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    I'd actually say some of those require a bit of programming background.. logical expressions are considered pretty advanced here (I've not seen them be formally taught before university level), the reason to count/match brackets, braces and quotes isn't clear before you understand their purpose (which might make it easier to not care enough about it) - I'm constantly making mistakes with é, è, á and à in my french because I've not been conditioned to see letters with accents as unique glyphs (they're not used at all in Swedish, while we use å and ä instead (and for a different purpose) - also modified versions of standard latin letters). Coordinate grids and the concept of vectors is also above average maths, but anyone with a somewhat technical background (or experience with any strategy game such as chess) should be expected to get the gist of it. I agree with all the others.

    Perhaps a reason many people don't seem to get these concepts (the ones I deem semi-advanced) is because a lot of users pick up GM before they'd learn this in school? I've had PM conversations with several people revealing themselves to be 15 or below. Still, that doesn't excuse the "please give me the solution so I don't need to figure it out myself" attitude... or explain it, for that matter.
     
  3. Alessio

    Alessio Guest

    Some here are truly super biased, seriously! Probably they forgot seriously they were beginners too. Sorry for saying that.

    If you don't feel like helping newbies because you think they're lazy, don't help them, someone else will, be sure, so you're not fixing any problem. If you expect people from becoming little Einsteines with your totally abstract explanation, don't dismiss them because there may something wrong with your explanation. If someone asks for help but was actually asking for copy and paste examples, why do you care? Give them anyway if you feel like to, that's their problem otherwise. You're worrying too much on people and you may not even know their actual intentions. And tutorials aren't pointless. Not many novices, i'd argue, are insolent jerks only begging for code, let's face it.

    Can't disagree more with the ones who tells "read all the GM docs" to beginners. It's just too much info and some parts may be totally pointless to you. When it's about the basics i can agree, it's not too mucn to read and having a refresh of them may help but then they'll be useful only when you're going to use them. That's why there are tutorials and the docs used together with the tutorials are super-effective. But the docs alone don't do anything, you're be going to check it continuously because it's just a bunch of info you can't always remember.

    With this kind of reasoning a newbie Autodesk Maya user should be reading the entire docs. Here you go, the Maya's user guide! The most likely reaction, something i'd not be surprised at all, would be like this one:

    [​IMG]

    Or simply anything you can find here.

    Seriously, everyone should learn in the way they like best. It's not up to you to decide how i will be learning stuff. People struggle and aren't always lazy. And everyone is different from each other.
     
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  4. Aura

    Aura Guest

    From my experience with helping people in the Q&A forum, I can say that pure ignorance is a bad idea to prevent the flaws in teaching and learning methods from expanding. You need to push novices in the right direction instead of simply ignoring them or behaving arrogantly. The latter usually leads to novices feeling unwelcome; and they switch over to things like Reddit where spoonfeeding is the only teaching method used from what I've seen.
     
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  5. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob The Laughing Rogue

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    Since I'm the only person I recall saying anything about reading whole manuals in this thread, lemme clarify what I said.
    First, I said, I used to recommend reading the entire manual twice. (I also generally told people in such recommendations, "Even the parts you don't understand. You might be surprised how many ideas you can get just by reading the possibilities!") However, I wrote that this was pre-Studio. You could probably pore over the whole thing in an hour or two -- and I'm not talking about speed-reading, either.

    Second, I said, with Studio's "wee bit bigger" manual (hyperbole), I'm still kind of developing what to tell people starting out. At this point, (after the introductory page obviously, I would hope,) that's "read the entire first section." Alessio, have you looked at the manual's table of contents? The first section, "Using GameMaker," doesn't even tell about the debugger (which I find vital for using GM). Click on "Rooms," and you'll see it doesn't tell literally half of what the room editor even does. This is so far away from "all the GM docs." See, (by reading before diving into the deep end,) first you plant the seed in your mind; then, when you go to take the first couple tutorials, (we're talking, last I checked, 1. "Catch the Clown" (who looks a lot like Rick O'Shea nowadays) and 2. "1945" -- both using drag-and-drop and "inefficient" simple stuff to get the concepts across), then nuggets from the manual's "here's how to use" section will be popping into mind, and you can of course go relook up anything while you take those tutorials. Huh, sounds like we're in exact agreement there, eh? Then, later, read the "Advanced Use" and "Reference"->"GML Overview" sections. There's no way nowadays I'd recommend anyone but a photographic-memory programming-savant to read the whole manual nowadays -- but the "GML Overview" section is so desperately important if you're going to move past drag-and-drop, and indeed, you can use any expression you want in many drag-and-drop fields anyway, which I expect is fully intended as a teaching tool seeing how GM originated from the desk of a trained professor.

    Yes. This is what some of us have been talking about this entire time.
    When someone's struggling -- and I mean putting forth a struggle, an effort -- then yeah, find where the hang-up is and expound on each needful bit of code, sure, even if that means, "oh, you haven't learned about inequalities in school yet, okay, that's cool, here's how they work."

    However, as one poster in this thread pointed out, when someone asks literally the question (and I've seen it myself much to my shock and dismay), "what happens when I put this code in my game?" (without any context of game, purpose, events even, just nothing but "what happens when I put {xyz} code in my game?" ... ~sigh~ it's disheartening. What else can the real answer be? "Put it in your game and find out." No matter how nicely you decorate it. "Do, see." The fact remains, hitting F5 in GM would've taken less effort than posting about it.

    ~​

    I know I can write text walls sometimes, but I want as many people in this thread as possible to read this next bit (without outright @ mentioning everyone), thus I'm gonna super break this down:

    Important!
    • If you ask the Programming forum for programming help, this is not elitist: to expect you to desire to learn until you demonstrate otherwise.

    • Anyone who seeks programming help -- not to better understand programming but rather to have someone else supply it -- has a valid goal. Caveat:
    Important!
    So yeah, no shame in having different goals. Ya just gotta click the right button.

    I hope this helps all sides of this discussion,
    Bob
     
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  6. jackhigh24

    jackhigh24 Member

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    thinking like that is why we get so many asking about basic things or stuff thats a bit more complex, iv been learning gml for 3 to 4 year, the fist thing i do when i turn on GM is open the manual, i keep it there and when ever i forgot what something means or im typing something in a do know and see another thing in the code suggestion box then i can just go a look it up by pressing f12, so saying going back and forth from manual to code is what you should be doing all the time.

    oh and when i dont know something and find it hard it will be many months even a year of trying my self to figure it out such as i did with all ds stuff, i did ask for some help in the end but the user who helped me could tell i had tried very hard, so people should really try before asking for as long as they can, if its stopping you making that game and getting it out and published, then your trying to run before you can even stand so dont, iv got tones of things iv done tests with that iv never needed to use in a game and maybe never will, i just do them to learn, such as those ds functions, i was just learning them for the sake of learning them, i did not need to use them.
     
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  7. Alessio

    Alessio Guest

    This. When i told the story about me asking for help and getting apologist answers isntead happened there, in Reddit. It happened when the new GMC wasn't around and the old was frozen. But don't really like that section so much since many times when you ask for something the person helping doesn't bother reading all the post and throws away a random copy-pasted code that may not even be suitable for what you're using or wasn't anything that looked like what you were asking for. Now, this is actually spoon-feeding. When you ask for soup and you get ice cream instead.

    give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
    Explain that man how fishing poles work and what techniques to use, anyway: an abstract explanation would be something like this:
    Now, this kind of attitude to me looks lazy and rude. This is not what we want, i hope. Remember that arrogance doesn't bring anywhere in the world.
    A better thing would be like this.
    Now i'm not telling the story where then Popeye had to save Olive from Bluto again but it's just to give an idea: it's not good to leave novices getting lost, when you're in an environment where you're supposed to help them out.

    I guess other people do different than you. For example, unless it's something you can do in barely three lines of code, i won't be learning something that i don't need at all. I don't have time to lose, honestly.
     
  8. jackhigh24

    jackhigh24 Member

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    another fine example of what we are talking about here, if you don't have time then don't do the crime, or something like that, really you are going to struggle later on if that's your attitude.
     
  9. RichHopefulComposer

    RichHopefulComposer Member

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    @Alessio: If you can't figure out how to use a fishing pole without someone holding your hand, you're going to have a hell of a time trying to program. :p

    Also, if you "don't have time to lose" reading the manual, why do you expect other people to have time to lose reading the manual and then retyping it for you on top of that? If you can't take five minutes to check the manual, why should I spend fifteen minutes helping you?
     
  10. Alessio

    Alessio Guest

    In the while you can spend fifteen minutes looking in my post where i did ever write that i "don't have time to lose" reading the manual... But maybe i can figure it out for you...
    ...i got it: you stopped reading after i've started writing about fishing, which was just a mere example. If you couldn't figure the sense of posts like that, you're going to have a hell of a time trying to help people. So i would spend fifteen minutes with someone else, sorry.

    To be serious, what some of you are doing is arm wresting, anyway, and in a very offensive one. We're not here for criticize each other but to help each other, remember. You won't win the lottery this night if you win the discussion. Another provocation like that and someone will end in my ignore list. I don't want to be considered a bad user by the staff, i only tried to express my thoughs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2016
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  11. jackhigh24

    jackhigh24 Member

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    you said it in the post i quoted post number 59 is where i quoted you and post number 58 where you said it, sounds like you are not reading things or even remembering what you just said and here it is again just that bit on its own as you seem to be saying you did not just say that
     
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  12. Alessio

    Alessio Guest

    Which is different from "i don't have time to lose reading the manual"... a lot different... meh, i really don't need to explain something so obvious.
    And aside this caucus race that will not bring nowhere but in the same spot ever, you shouldn't worry about what's the best way to learn a notion for me. Let me do that, i don't need criticisms unless they try to be honestly constructive.
    Becuase i just see accusations here on something very small i've said.

    Edit: just to clarify something: i'm completely diving into De Lucas' GML book. So no one can say i actually don't bother learning any programming logic. But when making my own game, i have to focus on what feature i have to put in the game, not to what will not make it into that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2016
  13. Strawbry_jam

    Strawbry_jam Member

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    @Alessio can you make me some art assets that I can learn from? Or really I'm just gonna throw them in my game as is... I need a whole tile sheet for a town and player with 37 animations. Thanks!! (really I suck at art so I really just need you to do it for me. No point in me trying to figure it out. I'm on a schedule.)

    Now you respond and say no because you don't want to (assuming you don't actually feel like you have to)

    This is why the forums suck!!! You won't do what I ask. Stupid elitist!! You just think you are better than everyone.
    --------------------
    Change the topic from one skill set to another and it should make it clearer. Help does not mean making the game for you. It is incredibly insulting to those who wish to help. Have some respect for the people trying to help you. If they want to write the code for your game, good for both of you. But why do you expect that kind of help with the attitude that you won't learn it or understand because you don't have time. Make time. The member helping you made time for you, make time for the member(s) helping you.
     
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  14. RujiK

    RujiK Member

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    This (topic) is partly why I liked the old Advanced Q&A so much...

    Man, I miss that thread. It was my favorite place to post.
     
  15. Llama_Code

    Llama_Code Member

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    I don't think anyone in this topic has said don't ever give code. Sometimes the situation requires it.

    They are just saying to try and guide folks in the right direction and don't just spoon feed the answers unnecessarily.

    Every question asked is a learning opportunity so take that time to teach them.

    Yes, we all were begginers once but you also have to remember that some of us have been around long enough that when we were beginners there was no help. We had to sink or swim on our own ability, and I know I am better for it. Now you have infinite resources at your fingertips so make the best of them. I mean hell, I wish I had Google, or just the internet when I was learning to program.
     
  16. jackhigh24

    jackhigh24 Member

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    ok then let me explain something so obvious that you cant see it as the trees are getting in the way, you read things in the manual and learn them even if your not going to use them in your game, why because it gives you insight into how things work, this then lets you do anything you want for your own game, so you don't have to just focus on something that you need for your game, as it might not be there in that book, so then what are you going to do, your going to come to the forum and ask for that things you need in your game, but had you tried out lots of things from the manual you wouldn't even be asking for help, so writing off things that dont pertain to what you want is stupid as you still learn a lot from them, and if you cant see that i can see that you will end up with no one wanting to help you later down the road.

    and we dont just have a few like you we are getting inundated with them, nearly every question in the Q and A is someone that is just aiming for what they need to slap some crap game together as quick as possible, that is what killed the games market off in the late 80s it all colapse because of crap getting spammed out by tom dick and harry that had never learnt something and just adapted code to the bare minimum, so if we dont deal with now there wont be any chance for the indie devs in the future, as the markets will be swamped until failure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
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  17. Alessio

    Alessio Guest

    Some of you really should learn accept other people's opinions, ayway. Shoving yours into other people's throat won't help your cause anyway and will make things worse. I don't think i happen to have written anything of so terrible it needs to be thrown in hell.
    Shouldn't this an online board where users share and help each other? Or is another pit of despair where people attach each other for fun? Because i absolutely see no fun on it.
     
  18. Alice

    Alice Toolmaker of Bucuresti Forum Staff Moderator

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    Just for the record, glancing through that topic (sorry, I don't really feel like reading everything you people write here, even if I'm usually patient with walls of text) I got the impression that:

    • @Alessio thinks we shouldn't expect people to have spent hours reading the entire manual before posting any question ever
    • also, @Alessio thinks that at least some people here do expect having read the manual (I can't tell if there were such people or not, sorry)
    • at the same time, other people think those who ask questions should put minimum effort on their own, and should at least have read the manual on the topics they want to ask about before actually asking (maybe?)
    • also, at least some believe @Alessio thinks it's fine for someone to ask without reading the manual at all, even on the relevant topic (which is probably not Alessio thinks)
    • both sides write way too long posts trying to convince each other, possibly trying to resolve disagreement which doesn't exist in the first place (or at least is much smaller)

    Also, could you people please tone things down a bit? Your points seem to be drowned in all these long-winded analogies too large even for my taste, with strong emotions and a hint of personal conflict (maybe not a flamewar, but flammable material at least). Or maybe strong emotions and personal conflict with a hint of analogies? Either way, I know it's not always easy to write your point in short and concise manner, without needless fluff around it, but please do try.

    Oh, also, @jackhigh24, a general note - please divide your post into relatively short complete sentences, and capitalise them properly. Your recent post contains exactly two sentences, each spanning across at least 3 lines on my 1920px wide display. The thread is already hard to follow as it is. ^^'
     
  19. jackhigh24

    jackhigh24 Member

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    can you do it for me PLEASE i dont know how to
     
  20. Alessio

    Alessio Guest

    I would like to correct something, though. I don't think you shouldn't expect people have spent hours reading the manual. But i think that, if i want to make a offline single player's game without physics (which is something i do), there is no way i should dive into sections that are about networking, multiplayer or physics. I'd feel wasting my time otherwise because i want to focus on the thing that makes my game work on the way i actually want. People are free to deepen these notions but the fact that others don't isn't a subject of negative criticism. I didn't expect this would end into an argument (whatever number till 16)
     
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  21. Argonaut14

    Argonaut14 Guest

    If you don't want to encourage and help someone properly and effectively, don't bloody do it.

    If you don't want to learn something properly, don't bloody well do it.

    If you're sick and tired of helping noobs who want help with the most basic functions - (and believe me, until someone showed me how to use TAB and {} properly to ease the readability of my code I simply coded it like writing a sentence) - then don't do it.

    This whole thread was started by someone who feels they are offering too much mindless help to people who are trying to short-cut their way to a good game. If you really feel that people who are more experienced at coding should stop spoon feeding noobs, then all you people who do know everything need to do is simply stop helping others for your own sanity. If it is making you that annoyed and fed up,then simply stop posting.

    If you're posting to help people - then do it in a manner that actually helps people and meet people where they are. If you're posting and it's making you cross and annoyed then simply stop posting. To coin an Internet Phrase "Don't feed the Trolls."

    Everyone should take ownership of their own posts. If a Noob asks for Cut-N-Paste platformer code then a wall of silence is better for those who are being annoyed by this kind of post, than a load of posts pointing someone to ShaunJS tutorials with condescending attitudes.
     
  22. Alunite

    Alunite Guest

    This is really interesting discussion to have read. I am fairly new to Game-maker, only used it since December and even I feel like I have to agree more with the notion that asking "simple" questions on this forum is currently a problem.

    The thing is. I don't think this really has much to do with Game-maker, but more with programming in general. I've only made under 10 posts, so I can remember them all pretty well. One was a guy asking for lessons in Game-maker in London/Kent area. I told him what I still believe now, learning the underlying core principles of programming would be just as good if not better at improving your skill with Game-maker.

    I personally feel like Game-maker is a great environment to learn coding (although it may lead to bad habits) as it both has so many resources but it is also very quick to see the effects of your work. Possibly this leads to over ambitious projects from novices as they can see the short term work forming their end goal without knowledge of the foresight required for a large project.

    Does this forum cater to novice programmers or novice users of Game-maker? You can be both, or only one, but there is a significant difference between the two.
     
  23. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob The Laughing Rogue

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    Back in the days of buying and renting Game Paks (heheh Nintendo brand cartridges), I read any game's manual from cover to cover before playing. Wanting to understand it all (plus finding the little narrative nuggets and jokes written by the author(s)) was so exciting! $:^ ] Over the years, though, I learned ..most? people tossed the manuals to the side and never even opened them. $:^ [ This lead to popular videos and articles 20-30 years later proclaiming the magnificent easter egg hidden all these years that one could control the duck(s) in "Duck Hunt" -- gasp! Except, no, it was in the manual. The exact opposite of an easter egg. Officially fully documented.

    I don't know how many minutes it takes to read "Using GameMaker" since I haven't timed it. (Perhaps I'll do that soonish.) But fwiw, it doesn't contain any sections on networking, multiplayer, or Box2D physics. $:^ ] You have to dig into "Advanced Use" for all that stuff. $:^ ]

    Also, concerning how people feel about Q&A posts and whether they need to speak up or not: @Argonaut14, you advise others to stop doing things that annoy themselves and to let silence be the answer for the people who clicked Programming instead of Collaboration/Marketplace, and your advice sounds like it's saying "and don't try to change the landscape otherwise." However, what the OP and others here are doing to stop themselves from being annoyed is to not only concern selves with self but rather to embetter the community as a whole and to encourage others to give your suggested silence (or even better, instruction on how to become a better student,) to the people who clicked Programming instead of Collaboration/Marketplace. By the above points, and by your admirable goal of trying to change the landscape of the community with your advice, you're effectively doing what it sounds like you're telling others not to do. I hope you'll consider.

    Thank you, @Alice, for tossing a lasso at the emotions before needing to call the fire department. $:^ J

    Bob
     
  24. Paolo Mazzon

    Paolo Mazzon Guest

    I wouldn't really call that an excuse for not reading the documentation. If you are diving into concepts that are more advanced like Box2D and networking, you should already be at the point where you can just read the documentation and not need tutorials -- yoyo didn't write the documentation on these more advanced things so people could just ask others on their forums for how to use it. Any programmer worth their salt can delve into the Networking Documentation, read the little bit at the top and start. Any other background knowledge that is required has links on that very page.
    There is a list of function relating to networking on that page, and it doesn't require an expert to see that you probably use network_create_server to create a server.

    That's not to say that someone should never post a topic on the forums about these kind of things, but rather the topics should be about problems you experience while using them and not how to use the APIs themselves.
     
  25. pixeltroid

    pixeltroid Member

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    A few points IMO:

    In most cases I ask around only after I've spent a few hours looking at tutorials, editing my code and trying out stuff. I dont just get an idea for my game and ask how to do it, unless its something I dont know where to even begin.

    I'm not completely dense! I understand some basic aspects of GML, and I try to apply it and combine it. examples:

    - After understanding "instance_create", I figured out stuff like death animations, enemy loot drops etc. on my own.

    - I combined codes for shooting projectiles with gravity and created projectiles that bounce around the room. With gravity code, I also made it so that some enemies can be knocked off ledges!

    - Though I cant write scripts, I know that scripts and timelines can work to create enemy ai. I implemented one example and I've just been replicating that to create different types of enemies!

    Of course 80% of my code is copy paste but I did figure out a few things myself, and I'm really proud of those few things!
     
  26. Llama_Code

    Llama_Code Member

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    You don't have to spend hours reading the manual, and definitely don't need to read it front to back. Half the stuff in there a lot of people will probably never touch. And again (I may have missed it) but I don't thing anyone here has said read the entire manual.

    But you can peruse the manual for what you are specifically trying to do, and try to learn from that. If you don't know the specific function name there is a handy search feature and just about everything has an example of usage. Granted, depending on your skill level you may still not get it, but after you have tried and failed, and then ask for help, you will remember it better next time.
     
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  27. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

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    This is assuming a newbie knows what function they should look for. A person with no background in programming, attracted to GameMaker for the advertised ease of use, is not going to think that they should look up data map functions because they want to create an inventory system. Time and time again people in this topic are skimming over the fact that thinking like a programmer is a skill in itself, it does not exist from the start and you cannot expect a person to know how to learn from the manual. Code examples are useful in this instance.

    I feel that some of the people here advocating against code sharing are only thinking about situations where a novice user, with some experience, chooses not to further their GML knowledge out of laziness. This is a specific context that you shouldn't create a rule from. If it is the case that nobody wants to argue that code sharing is always a bad idea, then why even argue about this at all? To say that writing code for people is okay sometimes, depending on the person and situation, is to keep doing what we are already doing and let people decide to help as they see fit. Presumably nobody writes code for people their think are lazy and undeserving, assuming we all have the same standard for what that means, and anyone who does is unlikely to stop because we've all said they should in a topic.
     
  28. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob The Laughing Rogue

    Joined:
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    I say this with all sincerity, with no disrespect, to Jabbers and to anyone else who has (or will) repeat this kind of misinformation. You're wrong.

    GM-manual-search.png
     
  29. Heat4Life

    Heat4Life Guest

    This thread is still online? lol, There is a difference between People who want to learn HOW to Code and People who want to copy/past code... Sometimes they just post on the Q/A because they can't FIND or they don't GET what the people/manual/google says... If people who really want to learn how to Make Video Games and they just wanna copy and paste stuff and NOT even understanding them then Say something to them, like "You need to learn how to Code and Understanding It, not just copying and pasting code if you wanna make Video Games, ok?" lol
     
  30. Ralucipe

    Ralucipe Member GMCJam Champ

    Joined:
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    I want to echo Argonauts' point- nobody is forcing anyone to answer on the Q&A. The OP is acting like they can't just ignore topics created by complete novices asking us to program their game for them.
     
  31. Nocturne

    Nocturne Friendly Tyrant Forum Staff Admin

    Joined:
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    Ignoring them isn't going to help them, and primarily we are here to help people. The issue is about what is the best way to help them. ;)
     
  32. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    That's a good example of how helpful the manual can be. But Jabbers' point wasn't about the manual search feature -- it was about the challenges faced by novice programmers. And he makes a valid point.

    New GM users with prior programming knowledge (in ANY language) can often get everything they need from the manual. But non-programmers sometimes don't know where to start. So there's certainly times when providing code examples, along with advice about using the manual, is appropriate.

    As he said, most of us can usually tell from the poster's question, which approach is best.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
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  33. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob The Laughing Rogue

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    I mostly agree with that, @chance, but the years have really beaten on me with one certain issue, and that's people devaluing manuals in general. In this particular case, even if a beginner threw all "start small and at the beginning" advice out the window (or just didn't go online to see such advice), one could jump straight into the middle of things, hit "Help" on the IDE's core menu -> manual -> Search, and suddenly...

    I nailed that particular quote (and have commented on other similar things in this thread) because these statements show that the writers with these mindsets haven't seriously checked out what they're devaluing before they devalue it. ("A man who answers a matter before he hears it, it is a shame and a folly to him." - old proverb, simple enough) "I want to make a simple 1P platformer -- why do I need to read XYZ stuff in the Advanced Use section first?" You don't. "How could a new person ever even consider looking for DS maps in the manual when wanting to make an inventory?" Because searching the manual for "inventory" brings up around 20 entries on DS maps and nothing else (except a lone entry on local variable scope).

    Read the how-to-use -- not Advanced, not Reference -- and take the most basic built-in tutorials, and the rest can come in time.

    [EDIT]
    (In time, Advanced Use and Reference->GML Overview. ~shrug~
    Don't have Pro? Skip the Pro-only pages if you're so inclined. ~shrug again~
    -->GML Overview<--)

    Didn't understand something in the manual or tutorial? Ask away! However, "what does ABC do?" is a far, far cry from, "what does ABC do? help file didn't help, got this [copy/paste] error when i tried it in my game." (It'd be nice if the user said more, sure, but man, at least now the reader sees effort and a good teaching starting point, and is more likely to feel that delivering much coded instruction would help the user grow instead of merely spoonfeed a lazy ingrate.)
    [/EDIT]

    And indeed, (as I said before,) answering Programming forum questions with "well, when I plug [OP's keywords] into the manual's index/search, I get [pages] including one that says [noteworthy quote]" is pretty solid, and I hope more answerers will adopt that approach.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
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  34. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    I agree that happens occasionally. I'm just trying to avoid this discussion being pulled into extreme positions. That often happens in these topics. So maybe a better comment would be "some people new to GM may not think to look up data map functions...".

    Depending on a person's background (and attitude), receiving a little "spoon feeding", isn't automatically bad. Especially if it's accompanied by reference to the appropriate manual entry. But in other cases, providing complete code solutions doesn't help anyone long term -- i.e., it discourages independent thinking.

    I'm just saying that most of us can tell which approach is best.
     
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  35. Alessio

    Alessio Guest

    Yeah, indeed.
    I mean, data structures are total darkness to someone who is new (for me they're still total darkness) but looking through the manual or even Google they'll surely stumble into that topic and check it out.
    Honestly, i'm one of these users who didn't bother using Drag&Drop's system for building a game: to me is just clunky and confusing and focused on GML instead. That's partly why i avoided the official YoYo's beginner tutorials. but i guess i'll check them out anyway, at this point. After all, Drag&Drop isn't just the visual and limited version of GML?

    I had problems following some tutorials, though because they already start out with too much complex code that isn't properly explained. I mentioned the book before but wow, if your target is beginners, why would you make me start out with a match-three puzzle game, wit a lot of abstract and complex code that is difficult to read and learn for novice users? I'm afraid this is going to turn out a bad book for beginners, despite being a guide targeted to them (it's written at the beginning). And no, data structures are nowhere to be used, since built-in grid systems seem very suitable for puzzle games. At least i hope the platformer section is going to be a little better.

    A bug mistake done by many pro, i believe, is trying to influence others into treating GML too like a real programming language. Something i've written before, if i remember well, but would like to deepen that. I mean, in GML you don't need curly brackets every time, don't need to put parenthesis for every condition and don't need to put semicolons wherever a statement ends. And GML doesn't make a difference between one equal and an equal sign and instead of symbols you can actually write "and", "or", "xor" or "not", whenever possible. Now i actually don't understand why these practices are usually condemned and what's the problem with them, if they don't cause any problem to the videogame at all. After all, it depends from individual intentions. Someone wants to grow as a programmer, some others just want to make one frigging game. And that's why having traditional patterns inherited from real programming is still good. It shouldn't be mandatory, though. And that's why i was writing about "elitism" before.

    Elitism confuses me and how should i build my game, though. I don't know if i should be using built-in variable or not. Because many tutorials don't use and dicourage you from using them. Are they so bad?

    To note, again: i'm not writing you shouldn't learn programming basics for game development. I just write that GM shouldn't be considered a professional all-purpose uber-programming tool but as a professional 2D game development tool that everyone who wants to make a 2D game is supposed to use.
     
  36. Strawbry_jam

    Strawbry_jam Member

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    @chance Problems are usually from the extreme positions. For example new member pops in and says make my game. Or legitiment question gets answered with go read the manual and figure it out yourself. The stuff in between no one really has issues with.
    This is probably the best generic way to handle helping people imho. Patience and understanding and common sense.
    Best general way to ask questions imho. Help us help you. Show that you have put in the effort and show that the person helping you isn't wasting their time.

    I figured no one really wants to read all the walls of text so I pulled some of my favorites :)
     
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  37. Adrien Dittrick

    Adrien Dittrick Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    Posts:
    348
    Just one thing. Before replying something like "search for this on google" make sure you do that search yourself and see if what you want to say is easily obtainable. Because for instance I've been looking for a tutorial on shaders and a simple google search did not suffice. In the end I just took someoen's pre-built function for saturation shaders and mined it for info.
     
  38. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    I've seen people that can't even pull a great search out of Google. People that don't show an hint of "problem solving" capacities. Some people are more lively than others and everybody is having different strong points and other stuff they suck at.
    Some people are extremely fast. They catch something right away and figure out on their own how to apply it. With minimal instructions they can go forward, are excellent problem solvers and also great self-learners. Add to this there's people that are better at teaching than others. Why isn't everybody a teacher? Well, its because its not everybody that is good at teaching and that's perfectly normal. I also think some people are getting mislead by GameMaker's marketing or similar engine's marketing into thinking making game is something trivial that anybody can do or should do for fun. Its not. You don't NEED to be programmer when you start with GameMaker but that's the only statement that is true. After that you still need a strongly logic mind. You have to be patient, RESOURFUL and be good at problem solving. Else you won't make it. You won't make game, you won't be a game developer.


    So I think there's some things (as as stated before) that we ALL need to understand to make this forum and even better place. ('cause like it or not, other engine's communities are often worse than here trust me).
    - You're a beginner? Start from the start. No shame there. Take time to really understand what there is to understand. If you're stuck, learn to dial back. Don't expect pre-made stuff too much. Enjoy creating, learning.
    - You're a pro and want to help? Take more time to read the other person. Detail the problem with them. Try to understand more about their position and GML level. Direct them before spoon-feeding so you get a chance to see where they stand.


    In my job (IT technician) I've had people asking me the simplest things you can imagine. But I have to help them still, give a good service, not being arrogant but professional. Induce progression by teaching them stuff at the same time when it fits. Beginners have to make an effort and people who wants to help anybody needs to make an effort. Its the only way to improve this forum that is already pretty good! And all of you, me included, TAKE IT EASY. If you're frustrated 'cause you're stuck or you don't seem to grasp something? Give it time, dial back, practice. On the other side, go in the programming forum and help on the topics that you CAN. Just leave the stuck you don't feel like answering, someone else will. This is not a job, you don't have to be responsible for beginners, you won't make this community better by taking unpleasant things and situations on your shoulders. If we feel noobs are too noobs :p, let's work together against the phenomenon, I mean, WHERE are the very basic tutorials that some users apparently need in the tutorial section? They are nowhere. And I mean basic stuff like Alessio mentionned like what is a data structure or a programming language or again, Alex wondering what is a variable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
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  39. Aura

    Aura Guest

    That's not true. A Google search for "GameMaker shader tutorials" leads you to the best shader tutorials I've ever come across. But that depends on what your definition of a "good" tutorial is.

    Ether way, this topic is already going out of control and I have not been able to keep track of what's been discussed so far. I'd like to discuss two stereotypes about the Manual though.

    First of all, people seem to promote that the Manual can be used to learn how to code games. That's not rational at all. The Manual teaches how the various components that are to be used for making games work. It does not teach you how to code games. To quote myself in this regard, the Manual teaches you about the ingredients, not the entire recipe. Novices are generally told to read the Manual to learn how to code games. Since that's not what the Manual is supposed to teach, novices frown upon the Manual because they are not able to achieve what they wanted. And that simply defames it. For topics as complex as creating games, the Manual should never be suggested as a single entitly. Tell people how to use the Manual with tutorials to learn how to code. For instance, you can't expect a novice to learn how to code a platformer simply by reading the Manual. He has to follow a tutorial (which teaches how to put various components together) and use the Manual to understand how the components that have been used work. Suggesting only the Manual is plain foolishness and leads to further defaming.

    Second, I have seen many people suggest novices to read the entire Manual in one in the past few years. That's a pretty absurd advice. You don't need to read the entire Manual. Read about the damned thing that you require. Follow tutorials and read the corresponding Manual entries. That's the perfect method of learning without defaming the Manual.

    You can't simply suggest reading the Manual. You have to teach how to read it and use it with tutorials. That's a major flaw in the teaching method used at the GMC I find concerning.
     
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  40. Beersy

    Beersy Guest

    I read some of this and had to reply. I didnt read all but I think i get the direction this may be going. Im by no means an expert at coding, in fact I havent even started to learn the first step of 3d, and honestly im prob not interested in learning 3d. But ever since i was a kid and i grew up in the nes snes days, i have wanted to make games. I didnt find Game Maker until about 6 years ago. I wanted to learn how to do this so badly and the frustrating thing is and irritating thing was I couldnt get anyone to help me. I had dumb questions but I came in not knowing the first thing about how games were coded. I tried so many times to have people help me and nobody gave me the RIGHT help. And i feel for those people that want to learn and cant figure something out. Think about it, this is a very hard and complex thing to learn. It took me forever to learn how to make a player even jump. After months and months of finding tutorials on youtube I have over the years learned how to do some awesome stuff and my skills as a 2D game designed have grown a lot. Sadly I cant thank anyone for it because as much as I have tried, i couldnt get a person that was willing to help me through just a small game and help me understand what I am doing. Thats why if someone needs help thats just learning, as long as I know how to help them I will do what I can to get them going just because I know how it feels. Anyway thats what I wanted to say hate me or not....just understand it may be annoying to experts, but as long as they dont get help they will keep asking....anyway thats what i wanted to say
     
  41. Andy

    Andy Member

    Joined:
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    I feel it's better to just plainly answer questions. If someone wants to learn, they will learn in time, at their own pace. We don't know their circumstances. Maybe that "lazy question" being asked is from someone who is genuinely slow. Or maybe someone needs quick help, and will look deeper into the issue at a later time. No need to make answers into a maze in hopes to teach someone. Simple clear answers are best. :)
     
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  42. jazzzar

    jazzzar Member

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    i was going to make a post about this, it's the first time i agree with @FrostyCat , there's one guy (i hope everyone knows him), i won't say his name, but he annoys me a a lot, he's like a spam bot, in a human way, for real,he just posts too much, tries too hard to be funny, but he doesn't realise he's not, he's silly, i usually never hate on someone, but the cringe i get from THAT guy is too much
     
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  43. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    I like your attitude. Very non-judgmental.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  44. Jabbers

    Jabbers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
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    This is really evidence of a bad example on my part, and nothing else. I admit I did not realize that the search feature was that intuitive, but presumably that is because "inventory" is a word in the article. This will not always be the case, especially when a person is trying to create something which can not be expressed in a succinct keyword.

    You really misunderstand my point. I do not believe that even if a new user decided to search for 'inventory' in the manual, that seeing ds_map functions would always be enough. This is no different to a person choosing to tell a newbie that he needs to look up data maps. A newbie with no prior understanding who knows only what he wants to achieve is not necessarily going to know what to do with this information.

    If the example given in the manual was not enough, why would it be a problem for someone else to offer an alternative code interpretation of an inventory system? Don't tell me that this is based on the principal that a person should look it up first, because anyone can then claim to have read the manual and still not understand. To refuse to help someone in these cases is to willingly be unhelpful because you've decided the way they want to learn is wrong.

    It is no good to say that offering code is a bad learning practice, only to then refuse to offer an alternative that works. Reading the manual alone is not enough and will never be enough. If this were not the case, this forum would be a whole lot quieter.
     
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  45. jackhigh24

    jackhigh24 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
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    really if these rules/guideline were stuck to, we would not have the problem in the first place, as the mods and or admin would close their post, here from the yoyo website
    Advice on Posting in the Support Forums
    [​IMG]
    Richard
    February 19, 2016 17:25



    New to the Support forums or not getting an answer?

    Sometimes it takes a little effort to get your information, this will make sure you get the best and quickest answer.


    What to post

    • Detailed, specific and understandable questions
    Try to include as much information as you can. Include logs, error messages, anything you think could be useful. If English isn't your first language, don't worry, just let the reader know.

    • GameMaker version number
    GameMaker is constantly changing and it could be an issue with a specific version.

    • If you are using GameMaker on Steam
    As with version numbers some issues arise on Steam only.

    • What you have done
    This will naturally bump your question and help others to narrow down your issue.

    • Your answer!!
    If you manage to solve your issue please comment your answer so other people can see it.



    See a good post? Use the voting system, this will help get the best answers and most interesting questions to the top.

    In the same respect, if you see a bad post, vote it down. Do not misuse this ability though.





    What not to post

    • Anything unrelated
    Do not post anything that isn't needed, just talk about your issue present. A lot of people do not take too kindly too seeing the word "URGENT" on a topic and may steer clear of it.

    • Multiple questions in one post
    If you have more than one issue, submit another post.

    • Duplicate posts
    If another user has asked the same or similar question, comment what you have tried and see if you can solve it together. Any duplicates will be closed and

    • Anything you haven't researched first <<<<<<<<< right there if users did that and admin do what's said above then all would be a lot better
    Try to do a little bit of investigation first. Use Google, the GMC, Release Notes and the Bugs Database.

    • Do not bump your post!
    Posting, "Still getting this" or "BUMP" does not help anyone. Instead post things that will help others.

    Remember, not everyone will know the answer to your question, you can sit waiting for a while on some answers. Be patient, investigate further yourself or reach out to the GMC.
     
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  46. RangerX

    RangerX Member

    Joined:
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    I think all the necessary rules are already there.
    This thread is more food for thoughts.
     
  47. Pelican

    Pelican Guest

    I think there might be some use in putting out some basic programming tutorials here. Not so much basic game tutorials, but basic programming - like variable types, arrays, objects, functions etc... This may be biased because I learnt Javascript before GML, but having that basic knowledge of how basic coding worked has been absolutely invaluable for me to understand code and problems with it. Maybe put in some simple game things to show the tutorials in action, but keeping it really simple.

    Otherwise if that's not on here, websites like codecademy.com would possibly be useful for teaching basic coding skills, so it might be worth directing people there before tackling GML.
     
  48. Vxss57

    Vxss57 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
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    As a newb myself, i find scripting very confusing, and although i agree with OP, i simply cannot understand coding, enough to do something from scratch. 99% of youtube tutorials arent exactly tutorials, as those tutors dont explain but just type, forcing us newbs just to copy learning nothing in process. As a family man with a full time job i cant just drop everything to enroll in a coding course or something similar. here in Australia, we dont have too many choices when it comes to night courses.
     
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  49. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2016
    Posts:
    4,860
    Tutorials on basic programming and GM theory are sorely needed, but the current video-mongering fad is a major obstacle to realizing their potential.

    Video tutorial authors have a fundamental conflict of interest that discourages proper teaching. A good number of them are publicity figures first, real teachers second. If they did videos on variable scope, the four basic events, basic control structures or elementary programming lingo, they won't be seeing much light given how novices tend not to search for these terms. So they cater to novice whims just to get the view counts and publicity juice flowing. And they'll only keep flowing if the novices don't learn what they really need for independence. Often it's Q&A responders like me that have the balls to shove these basics at them, not video tutorial authors.

    The real-time nature of video tutorials also often makes them less well-prepared, clear and correct than written tutorials. Delivering a written tutorial requires no real-time reflexes, so the author has no reason to rush and it always presents as well as it is planned. How many times have you seen video tutorials go south because of inadequate font sizes, bad voice recording, crappy video screen capture or last-minute improvs like excessive stuttering or backspacing?

    This "I don't get it" storm became a problem only after the video tutorial approach became mainstream. Back when the written tutorials by Mark Overmars were mainstream, nobody willing to put on their reading glasses had trouble learning GM. Maybe there's a reason for that?

    The efficacy of video education in GM needs to be called into question, and I mean it. With a major video advocate leading this board, I know what risks I'm taking. But if novices want any hope of getting a clue one day, they have to know blindly guzzling videos is still a defective way to learn.

    But you DO have choices!

    If video tutorials aren't working out for you, have you tried written tutorials instead? Think about the ones on the GMS welcome screen, for instance.
     
  50. ParodyKnaveBob

    ParodyKnaveBob The Laughing Rogue

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2016
    Posts:
    537
    I really wish people would stop addressing my posts as if they're saying "the manual is everything you need." What my posts are actually saying:
    • the manual is the first thing you need -- and keep it handy for later
    • take the tutorials, too
    • try stuff yourself before asking for help
    • when you get stuck, ask for help, and include where you got stuck
    • (if you want help obtaining product instead of knowledge/experience, then go to the appropriate channels)
    For anyone who -- after all this back-and-forth about "Using GameMaker" in the manual -- still hasn't actually looked at that section:
    1. Introduction <- some invaluable advice

    2. Installation and System Requirements <- a redundant section in nearly any software package's manual $F^ }

    3. Activation <- GM generally walks you through this anyway, skimmable

    4. GameMaker: Studio Overview <- more invaluable info, including that it's "strongly recommended" to hit the bundled tutorials

    5. The Graphical User Interface (GUI) <- answers the previous page's hanging question, how exactly does one find that tutorial tab
    6. - The File Menu <- these are under "Drop Down Menus" on the Contents tab .. and much of it's skimmable ~shrug~
    7. - The Edit Menu
    8. - The Resources Menu
    9. - The Scripts Menu
    10. - The Run Menu
    11. - The Help Menu
    12. - The Marketplace Menu

    13. Loading Sprites <- clearly important

    14. Sounds And Music <- unfortunately, most of this page strikes me as information-overload for a beginner .. there could probably be a second sounds page in Advanced Use

    15. Backgrounds <- clearly important

    16. Defining Objects <- absolutely crucial

    17. Events <- this entire section: absolutely crucial
    18. - Create Event
    19. - Destroy Event
    20. - Alarm Events
    21. - Step Events
    22. - Collision Event
    23. - Keyboard Events
    24. - Other Events
    25. - Draw Event
    26. - Asynchronous Events <- yes, that's right, the Async Event page - go ahead, read it $:^ J

    27. Actions <- so much important information in this section: equips a non-coder nicely and gives a coder an idea how to get GM to make things happen
    28. - Move Actions
    29. - Main Actions, Set 1
    30. - Main Actions, Set 2
    31. - Control Actions
    32. - Score Actions
    33. - Extra Actions
    34. - Draw Actions
    35. - Using Variables and Expressions in Actions

    36. Creating Rooms <- solid info in this section
    37. - Settings
    38. - Backgrounds
    39. - Objects

    40. Game Information <- good to know $:^ ]

    41. Distributing Your Game <- you do want others to play your game, right? $;^ J

    Regards,
    Bob

    P.S. Perhaps this thread will wind up inspiring some people to write some tutorials. I'm getting more and more inclined to do one... I'm just crazy-strapped for time for the moment (even falling asleep while writing this post, ha)...
     
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